Understanding scores from your ACT in Danville can be as difficult as taking the test itself. However, you don’t have to be an expert to make sense of the scores. All it takes is a thorough understanding on how the ACT scores are computed which will help you realize their significance in relation to how well you did in the test. We will try our best to explain the ACT scores as simply as possible.
Four to seven weeks after each exam, the ACT scores will be mailed out. The online results, on the other hand, will be available two to three weeks after the exam has been completed.
As you may know, the ACT counts every correct answer and does not deduct any points for the wrong answers. This is unlike the current SAT, which imposes a penalty on every incorrect or blank answer. This will change on the SAT test beginning in March 2016.
So the first thing to do is to count the number of questions that are answered correctly. The ACT’s four main tests or sections are individually scored on a scale of 1 to 36, with 36, of course, being the highest and perfect score and 1 being the lowest. Such scale scores are a standard of the ACT, so no matter the section they will interpret them in the same way.
Next, they determine the scale score out each of the four tests — English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. Then they compute the average of the four scores. If a score’s figures leave a fraction, the figures are rounded up if they are higher than 0.5, or rounded down if they’re lower than 0.5. The average result makes up for the composite score or test score.
Next, the seven sub-scores will be computed. There are seven sub-scores on areas like Usage/Mechanics and Rhetorical Skills, Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Social Studies/Sciences, and Geometry/Trigonometry. Writing is optional and always administered at the end of the test.
The sub-scores are computed in the same manner as in the composite score but they have a scale from 1 to 18, with 18 the highest and 1 the lowest. Note that the sub-scores do not directly factor into your composite ACT score. This simply means the sub-scores do not add up to your test score. Rather, the sub-scores are scaled based on the different kinds of questions in every section.
Your ACT test score report includes your ranking for every subject area. For example, if you rank in the 85th percentile of the Mathematics section, it means you did 84% better than the other students, while 15% did better than you. The percentile rank allows you to compare your scores with the other students’ scores across the country. The ranks will also be good to gauge your strengths and weaknesses in the four main areas represented by your composite scores and the seven areas represented by your sub-scores.
So how do colleges and universities use your ACT scores for admission? Well, colleges base your eligibility by looking at your ACT composite score. Here are the general guidelines that colleges and universities follow in evaluating applicants:
- Top private and Ivy League schools typically accept students whose ACT scores are in the 90th percentile or higher. These students must have a score of 27 or higher.
- Certain private and public schools usually accept students in the 75th percentile who scores 22 to 27 on their ACT composite scores.
- Regular four-year colleges and universities typically accept students in the 50th percentile. These students should have ACT scores higher than 20.
- Liberal arts colleges generally accept students whose ACT scores are at least 18.
- Open institutions who accept students whose ACT scores were at least 17.
If you did well enough on your ACT test, you may qualify for any of those institutions. But if you did a particularly excellent job on your ACT, you may have the privilege to choose from any school where you may want to pursue your degree.
Keep in mind though, that a perfect or high score on your ACT in Danville test does not always guarantee that you will enter into the college or university of your choice. It still depends on the college if they will admit you based on your class ranking, GPA scores, extra-curricular activities, or entrance essays.